Les Manifestations de travailleurs en Chine : abondantes mais préemptées ?

Le dernier chiffre annuel des manifestations d’ouvriers que l’État chinois accepta de publier remonte à 1999 : 100 000. Toutefois, en 2001, un rapport interne du ministère de la sécurité publique concédait que les chiffres « avaient commencé à monter comme un vent violent » depuis 1997, l’année où le partie communiste appela, lors de son quinzième congrès, aux licenciements dans les usines au nom de « l’efficacité ». Même si le gouvernement est déterminé à tenir éloignées des médias les informations sur les désordres (ou, du moins, à minimiser leur importance et les perturbations qu’ils créent), il a toutefois été possible de collecter des informations sur près de 200 événements distincts entre 1994 et 2004 parmi les milliers d’événements non publicisés qui se sont réellement déroulés. Certains de ces reportages proviennent de sources médiatiques situées à Hong Kong, quelques-uns proviennent de publications chinoises et d’autres sont issus de la presse occidentale.

Ces reportages démontrent tous un accroissement répandu du même modèle immuable : les autorités, de Beijing ou des localités concernées, tolèrent généralement les manifestations et occupations de locaux, avec pétitions et affiches, à petite échelle, peu bruyantes et relativement peu perturbatrices, organisées par les paysans et les ouvriers. Elles sont particulièrement indulgentes quand les manifestants apparaissent spontanés, désorganisés, localisés et sans leader.

L’élite politique est moins tolérante envers les manifestations qui semblent avoir été mobilisées par des dissidents, sont marquées par certaines violences, font preuve d’une certaine organisation, menacent de se propager ou impliquent des perturbations sur les principales lignes de transport. En effet, certains épisodes étant parvenus jusqu’aux médias au-delà du territoire chinois continental font habituellement état de manifestations telles que le blocage des voies ferrées d’axes principaux de transports urbains, les assauts et les confrontations avec les autorités, des détentions et des arrestations.

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